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Southern Miss Bounces Back In A Big Way, Cruises To 79-55 Win Over Illinois-Chicago

Dec. 19, 2007

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CANCUN, Mexico -- - The Southern Miss women's basketball team shot 52.6 percent from the field on their way to a 79-55 win over Illinois-Chicago in the Caribbean Classic Wednesday afternoon.

"Today was a total team effort," head coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "I thought we played hard on both ends. We executed our game plan offensively and defensively."

The Lady Eagles (9-4) placed four players in double-figure scoring, led by senior Liz Biland with a game-high 16 points, followed by Amber Eugene and Erica Williams with 14 points apiece, Kendra Reed chipped in 11.

Ashley Hluska led UIC (3-7) with 12 points and Cassie Johnson added 11 points.

"I believe Amber turned in an outstanding performance today," said McNelis. "When she is vocal and directing this team, it makes a huge difference with our play. Today, I thought she did a great job."

Southern Miss used a 27-7 run over seven minutes to go from four points down (10-6) to 16 points up (33-17). The run was highlighted by five three-pointers from the Lady Eagles, including two each by Biland and Williams.

Southern Miss led by as many as 22 points, 43-21, before UIC closed out the half on a 7-0 run. The Lady Eagles led 43-28 at the half.

The Lady Eagles continued their barrage of three-pointers, with Reed connecting on one to open the scoring in the second half. Southern Miss maintained its double-digit lead through out the second half, leading by as many as 28 points with 8:33 remaining in the game.

All nine players who played scored at least two points. The Lady Eagles connected on 11-of-20 from three-point range and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the line.

Southern Miss takes time off for the Christmas Holiday, returns to action on Dec. 30 in an exhibition game against the Houston Jaguars.

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